Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, softened early in the week as light business and the wider financial turmoil took their toll on the market. The overall index fell 0.32 percent, or four points, to 1,264 points.
Earlier this month, the index had fallen to its lowest in morethan three months after dropping for 18 consecutive sessions. It has remained erratic and has declined more than 25 per cent this year. With fear gripping financial markets following the downgrade of US dept rating by S&P, it was seen as another concern for the market given the general negative sentiment.
Worries for the health of the world economy signal more pain and even bankruptcies among dry bulk shipowners who are getting rock-bottom rates to carry cargoes like coal and now face a glut of new vessels ordered when times were good. The Baltic's Capesize index fell 0.61 per cent as average daily earnings inched lower to $.10,032 a day. Capesizes typically haul 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.
The Baltic's Panamax index fell 0.14 per cent, with average daily earnings for Panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to 70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or gains, reaching $.11,785. Brokers said they were watching for further developments in China, facing its worst power shortages in years, which is likely to have an impact dry freight activity.
Monday, August 8, 2011
The Project Cargo Network (PCN), a fast-growing association for heavy and OOG forwarders, celebrated its first birthday last week. PCN has grown fast and strong over the past 12 months, with membership now standing at 91 in 53 countries and still growing. It has been careful to only recruit agents who have proven expertise and experience in handling full-blown project cargo/heavy lift shipments, restricting membership to three per country (five in the US, Brazil, Australia, Canada, India and China).
To ensure that PCN has recruited the right companies in each country, an annual Quality Control Survey provides it with a helpful snapshot of how companies are performing within the network. The next survey will be sent out in January 2012 and will be particularly important as it will give members the chance to express their views on their fellow overseas partners for the first time.
Crowley Maritime Corporation has announced plans to make its inaugural port call to Tampa, Florida, next month as part of its Central American RoRo Service which Accommodates break bulk and project cargoes as well as Roll-on/Roll-off traffic. The company hopes that freight tonnage levels will be such that additional sailings from the port may be as frequent as every three weeks.
Service will be through the vessel Crowley Americas, which serves Rio Haina, Dominican Republic; Port au Prince, Haiti; Manzanillo, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; and Santo Tomas, Goatemala. The first call will take place on September 2.
Corwley has serviced Central America and the Caribbean from the US for over 50 years and claims to be the premier container shipping company to the region. Tampa Port Director Mr.Richard Wainio said he was delighted to be expanding the Port's relationship with Crowley. "Crowley's extensive track record in providing transportation and logistics services throughout Central America and the Caribbean is well known. This service will provide exporters and importers of construction equipment, vehicles, break bulk and project cargoes with a more competitive option for trade between Central Florida and Latin America via the Port of Tampa."